CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana to pay $1 million to winner

FONTANA, Calif. (July 10, 2000) - For the third consecutive year, the winner of the CART FedEx Championship Series Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, October 29, at California Speedway will receive a guaranteed first prize of $1...

FONTANA, Calif. (July 10, 2000) - For the third consecutive year, the winner of the CART FedEx Championship Series Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, October 29, at California Speedway will receive a guaranteed first prize of $1 million, this season's biggest purse in the CART Series. The announcement was made today by California Speedway President and General Manager Scott Atherton and Championship Auto Racing Teams interim President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Rahal. For the fourth consecutive year, the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota is the season finale event for the 20-race CART FedEx Championship Series, which also awards $1 million to the series champion. Winning the race and earning the million-dollar first prize puts the winner in some exclusive company with other events that offer a million-dollar prize to the winner. In motorsports, the Daytona 500 paid winner Dale Jarrett $2,277,975 for winning this year's race, while 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Montoya earned $1,235,690 for his triumph. In Southern California, two major golf events offer a $1 million first prize. Earlier this year, Darren Clarke won $1,000,000 for capturing the Anderson Consulting World Match Play title at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, February 27th. Later this year, the winner of the Williams World Challenge golf event at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks will take home $1,000,000. Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford Reynard) won the 1999 season finale Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. In addition, the 1999 series championship was decided at last year's event as Juan Montoya (Target Toyota Lola) and Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard) finished deadlocked atop the series standings. Montoya, who came into the finale trailing Franchitti by nine points, finished fourth in last year's event to garner 12 points, while Franchitti earned three points, leaving the two tied at 212 points for the season. Montoya claimed the title by virtue of the first championship tiebreaker - most wins during the season - posting seven wins during his rookie campaign compared to three wins by Franchitti. California Speedway, a two-mile D-shaped oval, is the world's fastest closed circuit, having been the site of the world-record 240.942 mph qualifying run September 28, 1997, by CART driver Mauricio Gugelmin. The Speedway will host two additional season finale events during the October 27-29 weekend. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion will be crowned following the California 200, which will be contested on Saturday, October 28th. The Dayton Indy Lights Series season finale will run prior to the CART race on Sunday, October 29th. For tickets call 1-800-944 RACE (7223). Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 20 races in five countries on four continents in 2000. Champions Juan Montoya, Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the drivers who battle for the series title at speeds of more than 230 miles per hour on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series -- the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com. The following are quotes on the $1 million first prize at California Speedway:

"With $1 million on the line for the winner, it just adds to the excitement of the world's fastest cars and drivers competing at the world's fastest track. We are thrilled to again host the season finale event, and for the race fans in Southern California, this is a unique opportunity to watch the drama unfold for the winner's stake of a million dollars but also to see the series million dollar champion crowned."
--- Scott Atherton, President and General Manager of California Speedway

"There is certain to be a great deal of drama and excitement for fans of Champ Car racing when we visit California Speedway for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at the end of October. The potential for one of these extremely talented drivers to win $2 million on a single weekend is a huge part of it. Couple that with the opportunity to take home the FedEx Championship Series trophy and you have the ingredients for one of the most spectacular weekends of motor racing of the 2000 season."
--- Bobby Rahal, CART Interim President and Chief Executive Officer "Toyota is extremely pleased to continue its involvement in the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota. The one million dollar cash prize to the winner of the CART finale at California Speedway is guaranteed to once again generate excitement for race fans and drivers alike."
--- Les Unger, Toyota National Motorsports Manager.

"Marlboro is thrilled to once again host the season-ending CART FedEx Championship race at one of the country's premier facilities. Over the years, the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota has seen the fastest racing on the CART series including the quickest qualifying speed in history on a two-mile oval. And, with the possibility of having the Championship and the million dollar bonus on the line, the race sets the stage for one of, if not the most exciting races of the season."
--- Ina Broeman, Category Director for Marlboro Racing

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin
Teams Williams